What’s fun, educational and comes in a bright yellow box? The Brilliant Box from the Sunshine Collective, of course!
Back in February, Erin from the Sunshine Collective reached out to me to tell me about the Brilliant Boxes she and her business partner, Lisa have put together. They sounded amazing so when she offered to send me one for free in exchange for my honest opinion, I jumped at the chance!
And then they sent me two!
Because mamas know you can’t get something for one kid and not the other. Am I right?!
I received the Preschool Box for Wynter and a Level 4 Brilliant Box for Nikolai as well as one of their maths Mini Kits.
If you follow me on Instagram you may have seen my live post of the kids opening their boxes! The were so excited that the boxes came labelled with their own names and were full of interesting things.
Keep an eye out at the end for a limited time discount code just for This Whole Home readers!
What is the Brilliant Box?
The Brilliant Box is a product put out by the Sunshine Collective, a teacher-mum duo from Melbourne.
The boxes come full of educational activities that are designed to be fun and hands on. The activities in the grade level boxes are aligned to the Australian curriculum and relate to the real world. You can get boxes for kids in preschool, all the way up to a sixth grade level box.
Each box also contains all of the materials and manipulatives your child will need to complete the activities.
There is also an envelope of answers included for mum.
Thank you, Sunshine Collective 😉
The Preschool Brilliant Box Review
The Preschool Box is aimed at children ages 3 to 5. Wynter is only three so she isn’t ready for all of the activities yet. The ones we haven’t used are stored away safely in the box to pull out on a rainy day when she is ready for them.
The activities we have used so far all have a strong emphasis on developing fine motor skills.
Hands down, my daughter’s favourite activity has been using the big yellow tweezers for sorting pom poms into their colour groups. I love how this and other activities included work on early maths skills at the same time as working on fine motor skills.
All of the pieces for the various activities have been included in the box so I don’t need to find anything. Wynter now carries her tweezers around the house and uses them to pick up everything! It’s a fabulous pre-writing skill to be working on.
There are early literacy activities included as well.
Wynter isn’t ready for many of these activities yet but she loves the letter cards. We have been using them for some letter recognition and matching games of our own. I prefer these to other alphabet cards I have seen for a couple of reasons.
- The lower case letters are in cursive rather than print. There is some evidence to suggest it is better to teach children cursive first and this is our plan for Wynter.
- The cards use modern Victorian cursive which is what my own handwriting style is based on. Learning letters in this font right from the start will make life easier for us both once she moves into the grades and begins copywork (we use copywork as a component of our language arts lessons)
- The cards are just the letters. There are no distracting pictures and the letters are black on white card so they really stand out.
There were lots of other activities included to teach a range of skills. We have both loved the Preschool Box and will continue using it as Wynter grows.
The Level 4 Brilliant Box Review
The Level 4 Brilliant Box is a bit different to the Preschool Box. There are far fewer manipulatives and a lot more written work.
I’ll admit at first glance I was a little worried because Nikolai isn’t too fond of written work. He has really been enjoying the activities though. The secret is, they are real world activities.
What do I mean by this?
Well, the first activity Nikolai tried was one of the maths activities. It involved writing and adding up the receipts for customer orders in a cafe.
The activity came with a menu that looks just like one you would find in a real cafe. There was a list of customer orders and a calculator to work out the totals. Pretty exciting for a kid who has never had his own calculator before.
Very real world, right!
Since then he has worked on a couple of history activities that have helped him discover Australia’s colonial history on his own. Yes, there has been a little complaining about writing (that’s nothing new here) but he has said he is really enjoying the activities.
Now I will say that this box is more ‘traditional school’ than we are used to in our homeschool. We combine elements of Waldorf and Charlotte Mason in our home so worksheets never come in to our lessons. I was totally unsure how this would work for us.
I have been pleasantly surprised.
Having these activities available has been great for reducing my workload a little. On a busy day I can direct Nikolai to choose an activity from the box instead of working on a regular lesson with me.
It has helped Nikolai learn how to use the library for specific research and to take notes which isn’t something I have covered before. They also chose topics we haven’t looked at yet.
He has loved having the Mini Kits for the hands on activities. These are more like games for practicing key maths and literacy skills.
A grade level Brilliant Box will be great if you:
- homeschool with a traditional approach
- don’t use a traditional approach but want to supplement your homeschool with activities your child can do without you
- want a selection of Australian Curriculum aligned activities for your child to complete in order to help you meet state homeschool requirements
- are using the box to supplement your child’s school based learning
Even if you decide the box isn’t for you, you may like to check out the Mini Kits. They are fun, hands on and come with all the bits ‘n’ pieces your child will need. These are a great supplement or stand alone activity. I will probably look at these again for keeping up with maths skills over the long summer holiday.
I really love that there are more Australian products coming on to the market for homeschool families!
You can get 15% off your purchase just by using the code TWH at the checkout (code valid until 30th April, 2018).
P.S. Just in case you missed it, I received this product for free in exchange for an honest review. I am in no way compelled to review this product favourably. This is my honest opinion after having used this product over the last month.